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Introduction to beginner plants to grow in containers
A lot of vegetables are suited for growing in containers or in the field but some vegetables are easier to grow because of their quick turn over or because they are just easy plants.
I will be honest, I could have taken a lot of different vegetables than the ones I will be talking about in this article about beginner plants to grow in containers. But that’s just because vegetables are normally quite easy to grow.
The green thumb myth can be busted by anyone who hasn’t gardened before and now starts out. In the beginning, you will make mistakes, but you’ll get good results as well and the more you do it the greener your thumbs will be, honestly.
lettuce, one of the beginner plants to grow in containers
Let’s start with a rapid growing vegetable that everyone knows. Lettuce is one of the fastest growing beginner plants to grow in a container. It’s possible to get a lettuce head in 45 to 60 days. When sowing cut and come again lettuce, you can even harvest sooner.
Just take a pot with a diameter of 20 centimeters or 7.9 inches. The pot should be as deep as it’s wide.
You can sow the lettuce directly in that pot, just make sure you sow a couple of seed to make sure you have good germination. You can thin the plants if you have too many seedlings popping up.
When sowing cut and come again lettuce you can even mix in some seeds of a red variant and a green one so you have some color in the pot.
Make sure the soil stays moist but not wet all the time. Lettuce doesn’t love the dry soil and it will wilt if it’s standing to hot without any water in the soil.
Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer like coffee grounds to amend the soil. Or even better, just buy potting soil with organic fertilizer mixed in. That’s a sure way to success, the first time you sow your plants.
If you want to know everything you need to growing lettuce, I can advise you this article.
So, that’s the first of the beginner plants to grow in containers.
Radishes are another really fast-growing crop that has almost no diseases. You can easily fit a couple of radishes in a container.
Let’s say you use an equal container as the one you use for your lettuce. You can sow 8 radishes in a pot with a diameter of 20 centimeters or 7.9 inches. Just spread them out a bit in the pot so the leaves can grow and the bulb has enough space to grow.
Just like lettuce, radishes don’t like dry soil. They do like some food in the soil so once again you can use the amended potting soil you can buy in any nursery. Keep the seeds moist, not wet and watch the sprouts pop up in about 2 to 3 days. It’ll take between 30 and 45 days till the radishes are big enough to harvest. I’d recommend a size of 2 centimeters or about 1 inch before you harvest the radishes.
If you want to know everything there is to know about sowing and growing radishes, check this article.
Now let’s go to the third plant of the beginner plants to grow in a container.
Okay, this is not a fast growing plant in the sense that it takes several months before you can harvest tomatoes. The plant itself does grow really fast and there are some things you can do to get more harvest or easier management. For now, let’s just assume you want a tomato plant no matter what happens with it.
Sow the seeds about a quarter of an inch deep to start with.
If you don’t want to manage the tomato plant too much, just let it bush out and only remove leaves when they turn yellow.
tomato plants grow really fast
You should at least have a tomato cage of some quality to keep the plant straight up because tomato plants are vine plants and they can easily fall down on the ground.
The pot you’ll need should at least be 30 centimeters in diameter and in depth. That is 11.8 inches. Just like the lettuce and the radish, you can sow the plants in place. But there is a method that will give your plant a boost without much hassle.
a lot of roots
Start your tomato plant in a small pot and when it’s getting too big for the small pot, just transplant it into the big pot. You’ll have to transplant it deeper in the big pot to have a sturdy plant. At the same time, the plant will get roots on the part of the stem that is buried in the soil. Tomato plants tend to root from the stem as soon as they touch soil so it’s good to make use of that.
Bigger roots on your tomato plant will give more access to food in the soil which in the end helps out both the plant and the fruits it will carry.
Try to keep the plant contained in the cage as well as you possibly can and watch the flowers develop.
pollinate the flowers
When you see the yellow flowers open up, wiggle your plants daily to pollinate the flowers. Once the flowers are pollinated, you’ll see small balls growing from the base of the flower. These will be the future tomatoes.
If it’s the first time you grow tomatoes, I would advise using a liquid organic fertilizer specifically for tomatoes. Just follow the instructions on the bottle.
Once you’re more familiar with gardening, you’ll learn a lot of neat tricks to avoid the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and weed-killers.
Tomatoes are also really water loving so water them daily. On hot days it’s sometimes even necessary to water them twice a day. When that time comes, you’ll see the leaves dropping like they would wilt, that’s a sign they need the moisture.
If you want to know how to grow perfect tomatoes every time, read this article.
Carrots are a fun crop to grow because you only see the result when you pull them out of the ground. There is another trick to follow the growth but I’ll explain that at the end of this text.
A pot the size of your lettuce pot will do fine. Just make sure you buy seeds of small carrots and not the big ones because those won’t fit in the pot. It’s marked on the seed bag if they are big or small carrots.
make a circle about an inch smaller than the diameter of the pot. Sow your carrots about a fourth of an inch deep on that imaginary circle. You can sow quite a lot of seeds as you can thin them out once they’re seedlings.
Carrots do take three to four months to mature so you will have to be patient and you will have to water the pot as soon as the top of the soil is dry. When you see the leaves flip over, you should water the carrots sooner.
You can amend with some coffee grounds every month or so and the carrots should do just fine. Of course, you can buy organic fertilizer specifically for carrots but I would advise against that because it costs a lot of money for the number of carrots you grow.
Now if you want to see the thickness of the carrots before you pull them out, there’s a neat little trick you can use. Just lightly scrape away the soil around the plant and the diameter of the top of the carrot will show. This gives you a good indication on whether you can harvest them or not. As I mentioned before it does take a couple of months before you can harvest.
If you want to know everything there is to know about growing carrots, you can read it here.
The last one of the beginner plants to grow in containers will give you harvest you will not be able to eat alone.
The zucchini plant is a great plant for beginners and it’s a big plant to fit in a pot. You can start a zucchini plant in a pot of about 30 centimeters or 11.8 inches diameter and depth. That will be a rather small pot for a potentially big plant but it can work out just fine.
growing the plant
Zucchini seeds should be started indoors or they should be started after the last frost date if started outdoors. Once again you can start zucchini in a small pot but that doesn’t make any difference so you can as well start it in its final pot.
The plant loves a lot of food. You can amend the potting soil with good compost or add tomato fertilizer to the plant to let it come to its full potential.
Be careful, the plant can outgrow the pot in no time but as long as you keep the roots moist and feed it in time, the plant will do just fine.
Sometimes it’s necessary to support the pot so it doesn’t fall over. The plant doesn’t grow really tall but it has magnificent big leaves that are impressive, to say the least.
growing the fruits
I would advise keeping the plant outside because the plant has two different kinds of flowers. You can see male flowers and female flowers. If you don’t have any pollinators, which is the case if you grow the plant indoors, you’ll have to hand-pollinate.
The difference between male and female flowers is easy once you see them both and you can compare them. Male flowers only have a stem. Female flowers have a small fruit just before the leaves of the flower. That small fruit will eventually grow to be a zucchini once the female flower has been pollinated.
it is possible to pollinate the flowers yourself but that’s not really a beginner task.
If you want to know everything there is to know to grow a lot of zucchini’s, you can read this article I wrote.
So this is it for this article on beginner plants to grow in containers. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.
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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post